CO2 Out of the Rock? – #1

CO2 Contributions – Fellow Canadians, We’re Really Not as Evil as We’re Made Out to Be.

 

 

 

 

 

The most usual perspective of looking at CO2 emissions worldwide is to consider either (a) the number of metric tonnes of CO2 per capita, or (b) the total number of tonnes of CO2 a country emits, as a method of ranking that country’s carbon footprint.

 

However, another way of looking at CO2 emissions worldwide is to examine the amount of CO2 being created by countries per square kilometer of land area. This is relevant for the purposes of discussion, since, according to the CO2 Greenhouse Effect Theory, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere refers to the “total CO2” and the “total atmosphere.” The size of the atmosphere is dependent upon three known factors – land area, water area and height over land and water. Therefore, when it comes to CO2 “production guilt,” one may compare a country’s land area to its CO2 output to arrive at the number of metric tonnes of CO2 per square kilometer, and therefore the actual theorized, proportional effect that country’s production of CO2 has on the total atmosphere.

 

The argument here is the more CO2 a country emits per square kilometer, the more of the rest of the world’s atmosphere they are affecting.

 

For example, imagine a very small planet with two very small countries.  Country A is 100 sq km, and emits 100 tonnes per year, so the amount of CO2 per sq km/year emitted would be 1 tonne. However, Country B is only 10 sq km and emits 100 tonnes per year, so the amount of CO2 per sq km/year is 10 times that of Country A. This means that proportionately, Country B is contributing 10 times more CO2 to the total atmosphere of the planet than Country A.  Country A’s population is 1 million, Country B’s population is 100,000. Which country is more responsible for CO2 contributions to the total atmosphere of the planet? Country B.

 

Using that rationale I did an analysis of the land area of the world’s countries to their 2009 CO2 emissions, and here are their rankings, from least contributions per sq km, to the most.

 

While you’re reading through the list, note that while Canada is ranked 7th of all countries on per capita CO2 emissions, it ranks 140th on per square kilometer contributions of CO2 to the total atmosphere.

 

This brings forward the question – do larger area countries, with smaller populations, have a greater “moral” obligation to reduce their CO2 emissions than smaller countries, with larger proportional populations?

 

While this is an interesting argument, for me, it’s a moot point, since I don’t believe CO2’s influence is anywhere near what alarmists believe it is in the first place.

 

Chad

211

Greenland

210

Central African Republic

209

Mali

208

Niger

207

Afghanistan

206

Somalia

205

Mauritania

204

Congo (Dem. Rep.)

203

Mozambique

202

Zambia

201

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

200

Mongolia

199

Namibia

198

Sudan

197

Burkina Faso

196

Laos

195

Madagascar

194

Guinea

193

Ethiopia

192

Liberia

191

Eritrea

190

Bhutan

189

Guyana

188

Tanzania

187

Botswana

186

Congo (Republic)

185

Uganda

184

Lesotho

183

Paraguay

182

Solomon Islands

181

Papua New Guinea

180

Malawi

179

Vanuatu

178

French Guiana

177

Suriname

176

Bolivia

175

Guinea-Bissau

174

Burundi

173

Cameroon

172

Gabon

171

Sierra Leone

170

Burma (Myanmar

169

Angola

168

Kenya

167

Cote d’Ivoire

166

Cambodia

165

Saint Helena

164

Nepal

163

Zimbabwe

162

Rwanda

161

Kyrgyzstan

160

Peru

159

Benin

158

Libya

157

Senegal

156

Iceland

155

Ghana

154

Nicaragua

153

Niue

152

Gambia, The

151

Belize

150

Uruguay

149

Timor-Leste

148

Tajikistan

147

Yemen

146

Algeria

145

Kiribati

144

Brazil

143

Togo

142

Samoa

141

Canada

140

Australia

139

Argentina

138

Colombia

137

Kazakhstan

136

Comoros

135

Honduras

134

Haiti

133

Georgia

132

Djibouti

131

Swaziland

130

Morocco

129

Nigeria

128

Cape Verde

127

Chile

126

Russia

125

Ecuador

124

Guatemala

123

Fiji

122

Sweden

121

Turkmenistan

120

Norway

119

Latvia

118

Costa Rica

117

Montenegro

116

Tunisia

115

New Zealand

114

Sao Tome and Principe

113

Finland

112

New Caledonia

111

Albania

110

Equatorial Guinea

109

Pakistan

108

Venezuela

107

Dominica

106

Turks & Caicos Islands

105

Egypt

104

Sri Lanka

103

Panama

102

Tonga

101

Moldova

100

Indonesia

99

Jordan

98

Mexico

97

Oman

96

Iraq

95

Saudi Arabia

94

Philippines

93

Lithuania

92

French Polynesia

91

Uzbekistan

90

Cuba

89

El Salvador

88

Saint Pierre & Miquelon

87

Macedonia

86

Belarus

85

Vietnam

84

Syria

83

Iran

82

Turkey

81

Romania

80

Bosnia & Herzegovina

79

South Africa

78

Bahamas

77

Armenia

76

Croatia

75

Bangladesh

74

Estonia

73

Bulgaria

72

Dominican Republic

71

Azerbaijan

70

Ukraine

69

Malaysia

68

India

67

Thailand

66

Serbia

65

Palestinian Territories

64

Hungary

63

United States of America

62

Faroe Islands

61

Ireland

60

Portugal

59

Cook Islands

58

Spain

57

Korea (North)

56

Saint Lucia

55

France

54

Slovakia

53

Greece

52

China

51

Austria

50

Slovenia

49

Grenada

48

Poland

47

Cyprus

46

Switzerland

45

Saint Vincent & the Grenadines

44

Jamaica

43

Reunion

42

Saint Kitts & Nevis

41

Denmark

40

Czech Republic

39

Guadeloupe

38

Brunei

37

Italy

36

Lebanon

35

Montserrat

34

Antigua & Barbuda

33

Cayman Islands

32

Germany

31

Mauritius

30

United Arab Emirates

29

Martinique

28

Japan

27

Maldives

26

Guam

25

Seychelles

24

Barbados

23

American Samoa

22

Israel

21

Puerto Rico

20

Luxembourg

19

Belgium

18

Kuwait

17

Korea (South)

16

Aruba

15

Qatar

14

Netherlands

13

Taiwan (Rep. of China)

12

Trinidad & Tobago

11

Nauru

10

Malta

9

Netherlands Antilles

8

Bermuda

7

Virgin Islands, U.S.

6

Bahrain

5

Hong Kong

4

Macau

3

Singapore

2

Gibraltar

1

 

 

Sources –

CO2 Emissions – US Energy Information – http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=90&pid=44&aid=8

Land Areas – World Bank – http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/AG.LND.TOTL.K2

 

 

 

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2 Responses to CO2 Out of the Rock? – #1

  1. jeff goguen says:

    another factor is the “exporting” of CO2 emissions by countries who are a) light on manufacturing, b) are net importers. Note that Canada is “charged” for the CO2 it generates on oil and gas that it exports when the full cycle CO2 should be attributed to the end user. Not really sure what that would do to the ultimate calculation for Canada as we do export a significant amount of raw materials.

    And, to be fair, do you think your calculation above should reflect habitable land mass?

  2. Hi Jeff –

    Thanks.

    No I don’t think having “habitable land mass” only as part of the calculation should be a factor. It is the total area of a country that represents the first two dimensions (LxW) of the country’s portion of the total atmosphere.

    If we are going to hold ourselves accountable for an influence on the total atmosphere, for the sake of this argument, our portion of the atmosphere is a most relevant factor.

    The country’s total area is also potentially reflective of the amount of CO2 it can reabsorb. In that regard Canada is an enormous carbon sink. However, the number of variables, including your notation of our exports, makes it really difficult to come up with an accurate “net effect.” Who knows, maybe we have a negative net effect?

    Habitable land mass also mainly corresponds to population/area, which harkens back towards the standard “per capita CO2 emissions” position which is so commonly used to create carbon guilt.

    E

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